- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 9, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - The Latest on the Arizona Legislature’s final push to adjourn (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

The passage of a bill requiring cities and counties to put tax increase measures before voters only during November general elections sets the stage for a rapid ending to the Arizona Legislature’s 2017 session.

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard had insisted that the Senate pass the bill before adjourning because it was part of a budget deal. Republican Sen. Kate Brophy McGee opposed the measure and was the critical vote because Republican Sen. John Kavanagh is gone for the week.

Brophy McGee finally agreed to vote for the measure Tuesday afternoon and it passed on a 16-12 vote.



Senate President Steve Yarbrough says the Legislature now plans to adjourn Wednesday after votes on tax credit bills and a partial restoration of a welfare cut Gov. Doug Ducey made in 2015.

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5:25 p.m.

The Arizona Senate has passed an election bill that requires counties and cities to hold tax increase votes only during November general elections.

The measure was a key piece of legislation that was part of a deal to get conservatives to back the state budget proposal. The Senate’s 16-12 vote breaks an impasse that would have forced the Legislature to wait to wrap up action until Sen. John Kavanagh returns from a training trip Thursday night.

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard wanted the bill to pass before the Legislature adjourns.

The Senate previously rejected the bill, which upset the deal that got conservatives like Republican Rep. Anthony Kern to back a $1 billion university construction loan program that was part of Gov. Doug Ducey’s budget plan.

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12:19 p.m.

The Arizona Senate has joined the House in voting to shield high school and college level journalists’ protections from administrative censorship for work under their school-sponsored media.

The Senate unanimously approved the amended measure Tuesday after the House passed it on a 41-19 vote Monday. The vote sends the measure to Gov. Doug Ducey for his signature or veto.

Senate Bill 1384 by Republican state Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Yee would safeguard First Amendment protections for student journalists at public schools, community colleges, and universities from being censored by their school’s administration.

It would limit schools’ guidelines to restricting content that is libelous, invades personal privacy, violates federal or state law, or “materially and substantially disrupts the orderly operation” of the school. An amendment to the bill also prohibits lewd and obscene content.

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11:55 a.m.

Republican House Speaker J.D. Mesnard has a last-minute proposal requiring school districts to spend half of their yearly inflation increases on teacher raises.

Tuesday’s proposal would require school districts to spend about $38 million a year on teacher raises.

The state budget passed last week gave teachers a 1 percent raise at a cost of $34 million.

The Arizona School Boards Association quickly came out in opposition. They say the requirement directly violates a voter-approved law giving the yearly boost and last year’s Proposition 123. That measure settled a lawsuit brought by schools over the Legislature’s failure to provide the yearly inflation increases and had no strings on the cash.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s spokesman agreed and said they are not interested in reopening the settlement to add the new requirement.

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11:15 a.m.

Senate President Steve Yarbrough says the state Legislature might extend its session until Monday because the chamber is missing a vote that may be key to getting an election bill passed.

The move would allow Senate Bill 1152 to be revived and passed by the Senate. Republican House Speaker J.D. Mesnard wants the measure that was part of the deal he cut passed before the Legislature adjourns.

The Senate rejected the bill requiring elections held by counties and cities for tax increases to be on November general election year ballots late Thursday. The loss upset a deal that got conservatives like Republican Rep. Anthony Kern to back a $1 billion university construction loan program that was part of Gov. Doug Ducey’s budget plan.

The Legislature hoped to adjourn by Wednesday

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9:45 a.m.

Arizona House leaders who cut a deal to earn conservative support for their budget deal are maneuvering to make good on their promises after the Senate defeated a key part of the agreement.

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard wants a bill that was part of the deal he cut passed before the Legislature adjourns. That could happen Tuesday or Wednesday, but not before that priority legislation is revived and passed by the Senate.

The Senate rejected the bill requiring elections held by counties, cities and towns for tax increases to be on November general election year ballots late Thursday. The loss upset a deal that got conservatives like Republican Rep. Anthony Kern to back a $1 billion university construction loan program that was part of Gov. Doug Ducey’s budget plan.

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